President Trump decried on Twitter the “tough sentence” handed down to Paul Manafort Friday — an apparent reference to a judge’s decision to put the former Trump campaign chairman in jail pending his trial.
“Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob,” Trump said. “What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!”
Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018
Manafort was not sentenced, as Trump suggested. Rather, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jacksona revoked Manafort’s bail after he was accused of tampering with witnesses in the case against him. Manafort was taken into custody immediately after the judge’s decision — a development some observers believe will increase the pressure on him to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and of related matters.
Already, Mueller has secured the cooperation of Manafort’s top business deputy Rick Gates, who also served on Trump’s campaign and was associated with Trump’s inner circle well after Manafort left the campaign. Former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn is also cooperating with Mueller’s investigation after pleading guilty, while Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen is reportedly considering cooperation with a separate federal investigation in Manhattan.
Trump’s tweet also comes after he’s issued a series of high-profile pardons, some for prosecutions he’s claimed were “unfair.” He used similar language when announcing his pardon of conservative activist Dinseh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws in 2014, as well as for Vice President Dick Cheney’s aide Scooter Libby, who was convicted of perjury in 2007 as part of special prosecutor investigation into the Valerie Plame leak.